Rio’s Olympics – A Continuous Executive Protection Case Study

Rio’s Olympics – A Continuous Executive Protection Case Study

During the current Olympic Games, there has been an unprecedented number of rather brazen attacks on athletes and high officials, highlighting once again the dangers and vulnerabilities of being unprotected in a dangerous territory, and the need for professional protection in low-security areas - in Brazil and throughout the world.

rio 2016 olympics Executives protection

Not long ago, we published an Executive Protection (EP) case study report titled: A Tale of Two Travelers. The report followed the reported experiences in Brazil of two executives from the same American company. It demonstrated the grim reality of Rio’s state of almost perpetual personal insecurity, and what can be done to mitigate the risks and vulnerabilities therein.

Now, with the Olympic Games in Brazil at full swing, a veritable stream of stories retells the hazards, vulnerabilities and remedies.

Here is a sample of three separate events:

  • Judo medalist beaten up and robbed in Rio: Dirk Van Tichelt, a Belgian Judoka, and a Bronze medal winner, ended up in a local hospital after he was attacked and robbed in Rio. The athlete went to the Copacabana Beach to celebrate winning a medal in the Olympic Games, but ended up being struck in the face by a robber.
  • Portugal’s Minister of Education robbed after an Olympic event: Tiago Brandao Rodrigues, Portugal’s education and sports minister, was robbed at knife point as he was returning to his hotel after an Olympic road cycling event. The minister, accompanied by an aid, who was apparently not an EP professional, was accosted by two men who threatened him with knives and forced him to hand over cash and his mobile phone. Here too, the situation ended with only property and emotional damage.
  • Olympic Security Chief attacked after Opening Ceremony: Felipe Seixas, the Olympic games’ chief security officer was attacked by four knife-wielding men as he was leaving the game’s opening ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium. An armed policeman, who was accompanying the security chief and providing a modicum of EP service, accosted the attackers, killing one of them with his pistol, and chasing away the rest. According to the British newspaper, “Mirror”, “Authorities have attempted to hush up details of the shooting, which is a monumental embarrassment to crime-plagued Rio 2016 bosses.”

These are three separate, yet similar, stories, describing – exactly like the “Tale of Two Travelers” – the risks and vulnerabilities facing just about anybody in Brazil, and other places where personal security has been compromised significantly. The stories also demonstrate how the presence and intervention of a trained security professional can make a huge difference in the outcome of such events. Indeed, the main purpose of professional executive protection services is to avoid getting into such situations in the first place. But if the worst happens, the presence of professional security personnel can make the all the difference in the world. This is what EP is all about.

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